Training Opportunity – Additional Support Needs. 30/03/2017


Having trouble reading the flyer? Click here to download it as a PDF.

Update from the Care Inspectorate – Self-assessment 2017/18

The following update comes from the Care Inspectorate, and relates to 2017/2018 self assessment:


This is a significant year for the Care Inspectorate and you as providers of care in Scotland due to the launch of the new National Health and Social Care Standards.

Due to the number of changes to self-assessment needed for this year and the anticipated changes a result of the introduction of the new standards for next year, we have decided we will not be asking you to complete a self-assessment during 2017/18.

Although our new inspection approach is now focussed at the quality theme level, it is not easily compatible with our current self-assessment where the sections ask for information at the quality statement level. If we were to make changes to the self-assessment for this year then you would have to complete a blank self-assessment as we would not be able to pull through last year’s details for you to update.

Instead, for this year, inspectors will ask you for your service’s improvement or development plan and discuss any improvements you may have made or intend to make since the last inspection.

We will use this year to help build capacity around preparing for self-evaluation which we will introduce incorporating the new health and care standards when these are published later this year.

This is being done in order to support change and minimise impact internally and externally. This approach will allow us more flexibility and time to build capacity around what self-evaluation means and how we can work with you to develop self-evaluation skills.

We will provide more information about the standards and self evaluation throughout the year and let you know how you can be involved and inform our developments.

OWL Scotland Bulletin, March 2017

The following blog post comes from Marion Laidlaw, CALA Improvement Coordinator:


Did you know that giraffes and rats can last longer without water than camels? That’s just one of the many interesting things I learned this week when I opened the OWL Scotland Bulletin that popped into my mail box.

OWL stands for Outdoor Woodland Learning and is an ideal resource to inspire your work with children in the big outdoors, whatever their age. There’s an interactive story game to find out what might happen if you go walking in the forest – make your own choices to see what happens! Then you can apply for a fundraising pack to support Save the Children’s Den Day on 16th June or get some free seeds to encourage bees and butterflies from Keep Scotland Beautiful or find out how to apply for Community Fund grants. There is also information about the South Highland OWL group who are hosting some free events coming up in May for networking, storytelling and literacy outdoors.

The OWL bulletin has handy links to various resources and other sites to support children’s learning experiences outdoors. And a fun game using a tarpaulin – but you’ll have to read it to find out more!

Click here to read the March edition of the OWL bulletin.

Places still available for ‘Words Up’ Training – 29th March in Fort William

Just a quick update for you: there are still some places left on the Fort William Level 1 Words Up training on Wednesday 29th March 3.30-5.30 at Bun-Sgoil Ghaidhlig Loch Abor, Caol.

Booking via the Highland Council CPD calendar.

New page on the CALA website: Children’s Rights


We are pleased to be able to tell you about a new page we’ve added to the CALA website: Children’s Rights.

This page will act as a hub of information on the rights that children are entitled to under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The page features links to websites, documents and posters that will help you learn more about children’s rights; particularly Article 31, which states children must be afforded time for play, recreation and relaxing.

As an example, take a look at the following poster, produced by the International Play Association (IPA). The poster describes the Convention on the Rights of the Child in a style that is appealing to children, and in simple language:


You can download the poster as a PDF by clicking here. 

You can also download a Gaelic version of the poster by clicking here. 

We will be adding more content to the page as time goes on. If you think of any ways in which we could improve the page, please get in touch.

Click here to be taken to the ‘Children’s Rights’ webpage on the CALA website. 

The children of Golspie ELCC Have Been Learning About Dinosaurs.

The following blog post comes from Julie Shaw, Manager at Golspie ELC:


We have been learning about Dinosaurs and wanted to learn which dinosaur was the biggest out of a Triceratops, Velociraptor and T Rex. We looked in books to find out how tall they are, we used rulers, tape measures and then we laid in the floor to see how tall they are compared to us.

We learnt that a Velociraptor is as tall as one if us, a triceratops is as tall as 4 of us and the T-Rex is the biggest and is as big as 12 of us – Now that is big!!

We also wanted to learn how a dinosaur moves and if they give birth to a live baby or an egg. To find out how they moved we visited the local library to look on the internet and we found out that some dinosaurs walked on 2 legs whilst some walked on all fours and some could even fly and swim.

We found out that a dinosaur lays eggs and the baby dinosaur hatches out of the egg. We did an experiment using an egg and water. Then we waited 2 days for the magic to happen. Here are some photos of us doing out our experiment:


We have also learned about the different patterns and textures that can be found on a dinosaur, some have spots, stripes and zig zags. Some feel scaly and rough whilst some feel smooth, we used our toys dinosaurs to find this out.

We used saving foam, gloop, texture boards to make some of the patterns that we saw on them, we liked the shaving foam.


We then used a skipping rope to make the different shapes on the floor, we had to try and keep our balance when walking along the skipping rope this was very hard, so we helped each other by holding hands.


We learned a new dinosaur song. Here are the words:

Little Dinsosaurs

1 Little, 2 Little, 3 Little Dinosaurs

4 Little, 5 Little, 6 Little Dinosaurs

7 Little, 8 Little, 9 Little Dinosaurs

10 Dinosaurs go ROAR

We have enjoyed learning about Dinosaurs.

The ‘Addressing Dyslexia’ Toolkit

The following blog article comes from the Education Scotland weekly digest: 

The Addressing Dyslexia toolkit was re-launched this week to improve navigation and provide information for teachers and local authorities to help guide them through the process of assessing literacy difficulties, which may be dyslexia, and gives details of relevant approaches and strategies.

The first of three free online training modules is available. Developed to complement the 2015 Education Scotland Route Map for Dyslexia and Inclusive Practice, the modules aim to provide quality professional development, improve outcomes for dyslexia learners, improve early identification and support effective and equitable post school transition.

#Openingdoors blog for #Scotappweek17


#Openingdoors Mentoring Support Officer Kirsty has been very busy recently, attending four events in one day! Here’s Kirsty to explain more:

“Here’s a blog covering our record breaking day on Thursday at #OD where we completed 2 workshops, 1 group session and The Big App Event in one day!! Phew!!!! A fab way to celebrate #Scotappweek17. 

There’s some lovely pics of 2 of our fab CALA MA’s Nicole and Rebecca throughout the day, and Baby Kate of course!”

Download the latest #Openingdoors blog by clicking here [MS Word].

Golspie ELCC and Seaforth House – Time for a Cuppa

The following blog post was submitted by Julie Shaw, Golspie ELC Manager / Senior EY Practitioner:


The children and staff at Golspie ELC joined the residents of Seaforth House in an intergenerational fundraising event on Monday 6th March 2017 to help raise funds for Admiral Nurses. Admiral nurses help people who suffer from Dementia as well as giving support to their families.

Read the full report by clicking here [MS Word].

Moo ELC Make a Mud Kitchen

The following blog post was submitted by Elicia Steell, CALA Childhood Practice Manager: 


Moo ELC are delighted to have our own junior joiner helping his dad below make mud kitchens. We are sure the children will have lots of fun with their new mud kitchen.

Read the whole muddy story by clicking here [MS Word].

Frugal Fun Friday – Lemon Prints

It’s week three of Mairianne’s ‘yellow’ theme, and this week she is getting creative with some lemons. Here is Mairianne to explain more:

“Week three of the yellow theme and something to take away, lemon prints, easy to make masterpieces.”

Click the video image below to watch the video:


Next week: Easter!

Literacy; Learning for Life – the Newest Module on the CALA E-Learning Zone


We are pleased to announce that CALA’s latest online module is now live. It’s called ‘Literacy; Learning for Life’, and is packed full of useful information on promoting childhood literacy and language development.

You can access the course by going to: and clicking on ‘our courses’. If you are a CALA staff member, you should already see the module available to you when you log in.

For a limited time we are offering 50% off the price of the module! That means you get it for just £5. To take advantage of this, use the voucher code: ‘Literacy‘ in the checkout. But hurry, the offer will run out on Friday 17th March!

Course Description

If you’d like to know more about the module, click the image below to watch a short video about what to expect. Thanks very much to Corrina (CALA’s answer to Steven Spielberg) for producing the video.


The content of this module is designed to support all practitioners working in early learning and childcare, as well as parents and carers who would like to give their child the best start in life.

Through research and experience we have seen that prioritising early literacy is one of the easiest and best ways to help children develop and reach their potential. This module provides information about a range of ways to support and develop children’s early literacy; skills which really do support learning for life!

The module is a mixed media presentation which will guide you through key messages in a clear, straightforward and interesting way. We hope that you will find the mix of audio, video and interactive activities, along with a range of suggested reading, informative and interesting.

Click here to visit the CALA E-Learning Zone